EASTERN CARIBBEAN NATIONALS URGED TO REAP ECONOMIC BENEFITS VIA ORGANISATION OF EASTERN C’BEAN STATES
Director General of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Dr. Len Ishmael has encouraged Kittitians, Nevisians and all nationalities of member states to embrace the identity of an OECS citizen and maximize the benefits it offers.
During an interview with the St. Kitts and Nevis Information Service (SKNIS) in Basseterre, Dr. Ishmael indicated that persons generally are proud of the accomplishments of the nine-member grouping which has a single currency (Eastern Caribbean Dollar) and allows the free movement of member citizens.
However, she explained that opportunities facilitated by the Revised Treaty of Basseterre require a paradigm shift.
“It is important for us, now, within our space to make full use of that single space not as a St. Lucian businessman, but an OECS businessman with a right to establish Pan OECS businesses across the OECS, and also to integrate production lines across the OECS so that different components can in fact be built across the OECS the way it is in different parts of the world,” she stated.
The OECS Director General noted that this was a particularly special time for the OECS as Montserrat is scheduled to become the seventh signatory to the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.
Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia as well as St. Vincent and the Grenadines have already signed the revised agreement which established the OECS Economic Union.
At the 54th Meeting of the OECS Authority held late January, Heads of Governments considered and approved a proposal for a study to explore all possible modalities for receiving citizens’ grievances incurred in the implementation of the Revised Treaty of Basseterre.
Dr. Ishmael updated what was being done; “What we are in the process of doing right now is undertaking a study that will bring some information pertinent to making a decision to the Authority at the 55th Meeting in terms of what sort of institutional mechanism is required to make sure that citizens can be fully engaged in the evolution of their space as they see it,” she disclosed.
“It may be a Regional Ombudsman Office, it may be engagement at the national level, it may be any one of the series of different options, and Heads are looking forward to receiving that report and debating it in June.”
Director General Ishmael urged media houses to become more involved in educational/promotional activities regarding the benefits of various initiatives of the OECS.